Monday, December 22, 2014

Post-Surgery Update

Thanks everyone for all the kind words and support over the last few days! The texts, comments and conversations I have gotten to have with each and every one of you has meant the world to me. Seriously.

the obligatory and contraband pre-operation photo.
The surgery went really, really well.  The possibility of finding endometriosis had been tossed around prior to surgery, and I was nervous that the cyst would turn out to be a symptom of that.  But the cyst was simply a dermoid cyst, and there was no sign of endometriosis anywhere!  We are beyond thankful that things, as a whole, are looking good, and I no longer have to share my abdomen with my undeveloped twin.

Recovery so far has been better than I could have imagined. I've already downgraded my pain meds to only at night and can basically function normally - just a lot more slowly and gingerly.


My favorite part has been getting to enjoy breakfast in bed - originally it started because I didn't have the fortitude to get out of bed without the pain meds kicking in first.  Now I just let it happen, because why not?

I'm looking forward, yet completely terrified of the moment the bandages finally come off. The doctor said the scar in my belly button would hardly be noticeable.  I'm beginning to wonder if I even have a belly button any more...

* * * * *
In other news, we're almost done with a "Dudes" Christmas special!  It was about as last-minute as you could possibly have done it, but I'm proud that we squeezed it in.  We will be posting it on Facebook, as well as on here when it is finally live.

A wonderful Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks again for your prayers, well wishes and love!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Long Vacation [Or "Why Kiddo Is Still An Only Child"]

I keep coming back here every so often to see what's going and thinking about writing a post or two about our life.

Turns out, I never write that post, and this little virtual place keeps looking the same.

But I have been feeling more and more like God wants me to jump in again and share a vulnerable area of our life here.

We are struggling through infertility. 

It has been the major reason why I haven't been writing. It's been an emotionally exhausting journey, and until now, I haven't been ready to share it with much of anyone.  I didn't want to admit that it was happening to me, to my family.  But I think I have finally come to a place where in the midst of this trial, I see that God still loves me, my husband, and my child. He cares deeply about what's going on, and he wants to create something beautiful through this pain, if I will let him.

One way that I feel God has been asking me to let him do something beautiful is to be vulnerable with you about this struggle in my life. Because when I see others be vulnerable for the sake of Jesus, I am encouraged and built up.

I will try to do my darnedest to also talk about other things (like catch up on some of the fun we've been having over the last six months!) but along with it will be our journey through infertility and (hopefully soon) another baby.

We have really just started the medical process.  I am going in for surgery later this week to have an ovarian cyst removed, along with a chromoblast to make sure my plumbing is clear.

Please pray for the surgery to go smoothly and that there isn't anything too serious going on with my reproductive organs.  Also that recovery goes smoothly and I can be up and kicking in time for Christmas.

Thanks to you all for your prayers and your love in advance.  It is very, very much appreciated.

-Shelby and the Fam






Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cloth Diapers Are...Done (Musings on Potty Training)

[So this post is actually from way back in April, but I came over to check up on things, and turns out I never actually hit the button.  So sorry!  Just imagine yourself three months previous and you should be good to go.  Thanks!]

Hi guys.  Been awhile, I know.  This household has been a busy one - annual National Guard training that left me a single mom for three weeks, potty training, catching up on homework, catching up on parenting, catching up on marriage, catching up on life.

I hope you caught that potty training bit, because it's sort of a big deal.  And by big deal, I mean that we no longer use cloth diapers.  Yeah, that's right, we have a (more or less) potty trained child!

What happened?  Peer pressure.  All she needed was two hours of watching her friends using their potty at their home, and the next day she basically started training herself.  Since that fateful day, we've been working out of diapers into underwear one small step at a time.  She's even gone on a couple tentative grocery trips and walks to the park in underwear.

I learned something important from watching my child develop this skill over the last month -

Kids learn differently. [Uh, yeah, Shelby.  That's, like, child-rearing 101.]  

I've decided that each different method of potty training isn't better than another, but rather, each will be effective if it hits a child's learning style.  I know the 3-day potty party method works, because I personally know kids that it worked for.  Same goes for the bribery method.  Why didn't they work for my kid, though?  Because she likes to do things with her peers. (But not with me, apparently.  I tried the show-and-tell method for months and it did nothing.)  Since this slow realization I've been keeping a more watchful eye on how she relates with her friends, and I have seen that her interest in copying other kids is high, and I mean really high.

On one hand, it's great.  When my child follows a three-year-old buddy around the park, she will push herself to try out new parts of the playground that I can't convince her to go near.  On the other hand, it means that I will have to be extra-sensitive to what sorts of influence her friends will have on her.  But this realization has been good for me.  I see my child a little bit more as a future adult with her own strengths and weaknesses. I can't just teach through the "methods" from books or what's popular in the child-rearing world and expect immediate success. Rather, I have to teach my child in ways that fits how she learns and who she is as a little person.

It's been a bit sobering realizing all this.  One, because I can't slack on my parenting if I really want to follow through on this discovery. I have to stay alert to what she's absorbing in the world and how she's taking it all in, and then work with it to influence her in the direction I want to see her go in life.  Two, its another sign that she's growing up, and growing up quickly. My chance to influence my child is going to be gone sooner than I'd like.  Now is the time for me to set a foundation of showing her healthy peer relationships by guiding her when she is with her friends and setting an example with my own friendships.

But the future also looks pretty bright from here.  This house is going to be stocked with potty rewards [commonly referred to as M&Ms] for a very, very long time. :)


How did the potty training process go for you?  Did you find that certain ways worked a lot better than others?  Did you see your child's style of learning come out in their potty training?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cloth Diapers at 22 & 23 Months

Since my child has only been two for a couple of weeks, I don't think I can write the "Cloth Diapers and a Two Year Old" post quite yet.  I do promise, however, that this is the last month-based cloth diaper post for this child.

However, I am pretty sure there will be some more cloth diaper posts which are related to this child.  Potty training officially began this week, and I'm already considering taking a hiatus for a bit.  What is it with toddlers that as soon as you decide to really start working on the next growing-up stage, they suddenly hate it?  This child has loved sitting on her potty since we got it last summer, but suddenly now that she's being asked to use it, she refuses.

So, because of this, my guess is we will be in diapers for at least a few more months.

How did diapering go these last two months?  Let me tell you!


Adelle - 22 & 23 months

# of Children: 1

Gender: female

Size: 25 lbs, 33 inches tall

Average # of Diapers a day: 6 [ish. It varies day by day, but six would be average]

Laundry Schedule: Every three-four days.  Four day stretches seem to happen because there are more and more times where she winds up in disposables for half a day, so it takes longer to go through the basket of cloth diapers.

Routine: pre-folds used during awake times [changed every 2 hours], disposables for naps and at night.

Diaper Size: Thirsties covers - size 2, middle setting, Disposables - size  4 [if she was in all-in-ones, they would be in the middle settings]


Leaking?: when I forget to change her for a few hours.  Usually it happens while we are out.  Because its happened a few too many times, I have actually started putting her in disposables when we go out.

How's the Poo?: Nothing to complain about.  She did poo in her potty for the first time a couple days ago [!!!].  And believe me, she got every color m&m she asked for.

Did you Use Disposables?: We are using disposables for naps and bedtime now, and more and more so when we go out or have babysitters.

Any Changes: I get sort of sad realizing that the all-in-ones are pretty much done being used until we have another child.  They just haven't been holding her pee as well as pre-folds have, and definitely don't work while she's sleeping anymore.

Any Issues: None.

Still Like Cloth?: Yes and no.  I think I'm just getting tired of diapers in general, but I am really grateful to have them to help keep costs lower.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Brand New Two Year Old

For a couple of months leading up to Kiddo's second birthday, I got asked by more than one person if we were going to have another birthday party like last year.

The answer, unfortunately, was no.

This year's birthday was quite a bit smaller in scale [excluding presents. We're considering renting our neighbor's house for extra storage].  The reason for this, if you really care to know, was the Army.  Good ol' National Guard decided to schedule their weekend right over Kiddo's birthday and there was nothing to be done about it.  Not that I'm complaining.  I get what doing the Guard means when it comes to your weekends - you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

So we stuck to a day of at home fun with Mimi and Papa [who flew in for the occasion], and an evening of presents and yummy cake when the Hubby returned home from duty.

But, luckily for you, a cake was still made [!] and a whole bunch of cute pictures are here to go along with it.


Not all great days begin great...


But a little breakfast pick-me-up will do the trick!


Then on to play...


More play,


And more play.


Kiddo helped decorate her cake [and by decorate, I mean eat].



For this year's cake I wanted simple, but cute. 


Decorating with rainbow M&M's for a child who's learning colors was, actually,


a better idea than I expected.


Expecting her to understand blowing out candles, however, was not so good. [I spared you the pictures of her bawling, but she lost it as soon as we starting singing.]


So we figured out that the way to salvage the situation was a little practice with her Dada.


Which in the end, made all the difference in the world.


[Yum.]

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Second Birthday, Goob!

Well, another year keeping our child alive.  I think we're on a roll here.

This year was a year of falling in love.


This year, Kiddo fell in love with parks,


with the dogs [and cat],


 with yogurt,


with water,


with her new friends,


with Halloween,


 with playing dress up,


with books,


with puzzles,


and with her baby dolls.


It's been an amazing pleasure getting to watch you grow up into a little person, Goob.  Congratulations on making it to two!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! [And a Peek Backwards]

There's a trend plowing through Instagram over the last couple of days of people posting short videos of their favorite photos over the last year, and while I haven't actually done one myself, I've really enjoyed getting to watch all the others.  I figured instead, I would do a little flashback of our year via blog [oh joy!].

Here are my top ten favorite moments of 2013, pictures and all!


[10] My child turned one.  This was a big one for me.  The first first birthday for our family, with a fun, Dr. Seuss themed birthday and all.  It's wild looking back on those photos of her - she wasn't walking, hardly talking, and barely registered on the scales.
[9] Valentine's Day. I remember the husband and I were in the middle of a rough emotional patch for some reason, and waking up that morning to a house full of hand cut hearts from my Honey just melted me.  Then I found out he wrote both Dellie and I our own poems, and I decided I had to stay married to this man forever.


[8] Making new friends.  I got an amazing opportunity over this last fall semester to hang out at a dear friend's house every week.  Both our husbands were busy the same evening, so kiddo and I would go over to her house to share dinner and build a deeper friendship, both for the adults and the children.


[7] Our fifth anniversary. We celebrated with some quality fun at the aquarium and finished the evening at Ted's Hot Dogs. It was fun doing something a little different and more family-oriented to celebrate just how much our marriage has evolved over the five years we've spent together. I know in the big scheme of life, five years is a drop, but I feel sort of accomplished that we made it this far, and with no signs of stopping any time soon.


[6] All the fixing up that happened in this house.  In some ways, they really shouldn't be considered favorite moments, but they are definitely a memorable series of events that happened over this year.  First, the water heater, which resulted in a week of freezing showers and three holes in the wall. Then the fridge, which took six repair visits and probably a hundred dollars in spoiled food before finally getting a new one.  Lastly, the pipes in our kitchen sink blowing apart because someone [ahem] plugged the disposal with potato peelings from Thanksgiving.  Oops.


[5] Dealing with my c-section.  I spent a good chunk of this year working through to a healing place with how my birth experience went, including sharing my own story to the whole wide world.  I am thankful for how much love and support my husband gave during all that time, and thankful that I have come to a stronger understanding of God's sovereignty, love and faithfulness through my struggle.


[4] The movie making extravaganzas.  This year my husband made ten short films, and I got the chance to help out with many of them in one capacity or another.  The best part was discovering an interest in editing, which I really hope to get better at over this next year.


[3] Our surprise visit for my dad's birthday.  I learned a few tips on flying with a one year old, and we really enjoyed getting to surprise family and friends.  The cold weather was also a huge bonus :)


[2] Watching kiddo fall in love with water.  Which is a good thing since we live in one of the hottest cities in the U.S.  She enjoyed playing in pools and splash parks so much this year that she gets almost morose when we don't let her jump in the fountain at the mall.



[1] This moment.  I still well up with all kinds of happy wife and mommy feelings when I see this picture.